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Margaret Court Arena Retractable Roof Addition

Redesigning to unlock potential

Project Facts

Location Melbourne, Australia
Owner Victorian Government
Status Completed 2014


This major facelift transformed Margaret Court arena into an all-season stadium and includes the addition of 1,500 seats, new amenities, and a retractable roof. Now “weatherproofed” from the elements, the updated arena expects to host basketball, netball, concerts, and entertainment year-round. The project also cemented Melbourne’s ability to host the Australian Open until 2036.

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About the project

As part of the Victorian Government’s $366 million Melbourne Park Redevelopment project, this renovation was the final and largest portion. It was completed in phases over three years, with the venue never unavailable to host its normal busy calendar of top-line tennis events including the Australian Open, a Grand Slam event.

Using a 3D virtual environment, the design team of architects, engineers, and fabricators dealt with the complexities of working on all sides of the existing structure. Walter P Moore served as a specialty structural consultant with responsibilities to conceive of the innovative moving roof design, which uses the fixed roof elements to support the trailing edge of the moveable roof panels. A single truss completes the structure, with a mere 1.25 meters separating the top of the operable roof from the top of the fixed roof. The pleated roof folds down to pedestrian level, providing patrons extra protection from the elements during inclement weather.